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Challenges to the legality of Council Tax

The 'Freeman on the Land' movement and similar groups commonly believe that people are only bound by the contracts and laws they have consented to.

However, contract law and alleged rights under common law are not the same as legislation relating to the administration and collection of Council Tax.

You do not have a choice whether you are liable for Council Tax and being a 'freeman' does not exempt anyone from paying Council Tax.

Liability to pay Council Tax

Liability to pay council tax does not rely on the existence of a contract between a resident and the council. Any claim made stating that a contract or consent is required for the Council Tax charge to be valid is incorrect and holds no legal basis.

We would strongly advise anyone who is concerned around the legality of Council Tax to seek proper, qualified, independent legal advice.

Being a Freeman on the Land does not remove your liability or responsibility to pay Council Tax and non-payment will lead to recovery action being taken under the relevant, binding legislation.

In the UK, liability for Council Tax is determined by the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This statute, created by a democratically elected Parliament of the United Kingdom which has received the assent of the Crown and subsequent statutory regulations, sets out a local authority's rights to demand Council Tax to fund services and who is liable to pay.

Anyone who withholds payment will have recovery action taken against them.


The legislation that covers Council Tax is freely available from the UK government Legislation website, including:

Some residents have asked whether Acts and Statutes are an obligation on them, and about the difference between a Statute and Law and other similar questions regarding legal matters. Acts of Parliaments are Statutes which set out the law:

If you have questions regarding other Acts of Parliament or laws, these should be directed to a legal professional, not us.  

You can find details of qualified lawyers in your area through the The Law Society.

New Forest District Council is a local authority within the Public Sector and does not have a company number. Our VAT number is GB189457896, though Council Tax is outside the scope of VAT so we are unable to provide a VAT invoice.

While we do our best to answer all relevant enquiries about Council Tax, we reserve the right to refuse to respond to lengthy spurious enquiries that focus on hypothetical arguments that have no basis in statute which use our resources at the expense of other taxpayers.

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